Dangerous (Michael Jackson album)

Dangerous (Michael Jackson album)
Studio album by Michael Jackson
Released November 26, 1991
Recorded June 25, 1990–October 29, 1991
Genre R&B, pop, rock, new jack swing[1]
Length 76:58
Label Epic
Producer Michael Jackson
Bill Bottrell
Teddy Riley
Michael Jackson chronology
HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I
Singles from Dangerous
  1. "Black or White"
    Released: November 14, 1991
  2. "Remember the Time"
    Released: January 14, 1992
  3. "In the Closet"
    Released: April 20, 1992
  4. "Jam"
    Released: July 13, 1992
  5. "Who Is It"
    Released: August 31, 1992
  6. "Heal the World"
    Released: November 23, 1992
  7. "Give In to Me"
    Released: February 15, 1993
  8. "Will You Be There"
    Released: June 28, 1993
  9. "Gone Too Soon"
    Released: December 6, 1993

Dangerous is the eighth studio album by American recording artist Michael Jackson, released November 26, 1991 on Epic Records. It became his second to debut at number 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, where it spent the next four consecutive weeks. The album has sold over 32 million copies worldwide.[2] The album won one Grammy for Best Engineered Album – Non Classical won by Bruce Swedien and Teddy Riley,[3] and is the most successful new jack swing album of all time.[4]



According to the sleeve notes on the later remastered edition of the album, recording sessions began in Los Angeles, California at Ocean Way/Record One Studio 2 on June 25, 1990. The sessions ended at Larrabee North and Ocean Way Studio on October 29, 1991, being the most extensive recording project of Jackson's career at the time (over 16 months compared to the usual 6 spent for his previous three studio albums).

In 1990, a promo CD acetate was given to 10 Sony executives on a plane flight to Neverland Ranch, as a teaser for Dangerous.

In March 1991, Jackson signed a 15-year, 6-album deal with Sony Music. The press reported that Sony actually handed over $1 billion to Jackson, but that was not the case. At the time, Sony estimated that if the albums Jackson released under the new contract sold at the same level they currently sold, it would generate over $1 billion in profits for them. Additionally, Jackson was awarded the highest royalty rate in the business. By the time the contract expired in March 2006, Michael would have been paid $45 million from Sony ($1 million a year, plus $5 million per album delivered). This does not include money he would have also earned from sales of albums, singles, videos etc. Under this contract, Jackson is estimated to have earned $175 million from album sales alone.

At this point, Dangerous was already in the making, under the producing talents of (Quincy Jones recommended) 23-year-old Teddy Riley and Grammy-winner Bill Bottrell. The previous album, Bad, was Jackson's last designed for the LP industry, conforming to the usual 10-song within 50-minute format, whereas Dangerous was a 77-minute, 14-track compilation, which almost dared the capacity of early Nineties compact discs. Consequently, the record was released as a double album in vinyl and an extended version cassette.

Album cover

The album is well known for its elaborate artwork.

A special limited-edition of the album was initially released in a large box with a picture of Jackson's eyes, which folded open to reveal the usual cover (painted by pop surrealist Mark Ryden), in pop-up card, with the CD and booklet in the bottom.



Dangerous was released on November 26, 1991 with record-breaking sales.[clarification needed] Dangerous was Jackson's fastest-selling album ever in the United States with seven million shipped in under two months. This broke the sales record for Bad, which had also shipped seven million copies in 1987, but in four months.

Dangerous débuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with 326,500 copies sold in its first week. It held the position for four weeks. Jackson promoted the album with a high-profile performance at the Super Bowl and an interview with Oprah Winfrey, but it did not return to the number 1 slot. However, it returned to the Top Ten after Jackson received the Grammy Legend Award at the 1993 ceremony. Dangerous spent 117 weeks in the Billboard 200, thirty more than Bad. The RIAA certified Dangerous seven times platinum (seven million copies).[5]

In the United Kingdom, the album débuted at number 1, holding off U2's Achtung Baby, but in the second week it was replaced by Queen's Greatest Hits II. Dangerous spent 23 weeks in the top 10, and a total of 96 weeks on the top 75 chart.

"Black or White" was produced and co-written by Bill Bottrell. The single was Jackson's biggest hit since 1983's "Billie Jean". In all, nine singles were released, spanning two years (1991–1993). A planned single release of the title track "Dangerous" was canceled in late 1993 due to child molestation allegations. Seven singles reached the UK top 10, the most for any Jackson album.

48% of Bad's worldwide sales were in the UK and US; for Dangerous, the total was 33%, reflecting Jackson's growing global reach. For the most part, the singles from Dangerous were bigger hits in Europe and Australia than in the United States. Dangerous sold very well in both Asia and South America, two emerging and growing record markets, and was supported by the Dangerous World Tour. Prior to the release of Jackson's next studio album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, Dangerous had already sold over thirty-two million copies worldwide.[9] In the space of 17 years, sources estimate the record has sold between 30 and 32 million copies worldwide making it a faster selling album than his previous record Bad.[2][10][11]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[12]
Robert Christgau (A-)[13]
Entertainment Weekly (B-)[14]
Q 4/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[16]
Virgin Encyclopedia 4/5 stars[17]

Dangerous was well received by most critics. Robert Christgau gave Dangerous a grade of A-, saying it was Jackson's "most consistent album since Off the Wall".


Organization Country Accolade Year Source
National Association of Recording Merchandisers United States Definitive 200 albums of all time developed by the NARM(Ranked 115) 2007 [18]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Jam"   Michael Jackson, René Moore, Bruce Swedien, Teddy Riley 5:39
2. "Why You Wanna Trip on Me"   Teddy Riley, Bernard Belle 5:25
3. "In the Closet" (featuring Princess Stéphanie of Monaco) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley 6:32
4. "She Drives Me Wild" (featuring Wrecks-N-Effect) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley; rap lyrics by Aqil Davidson 3:41
5. "Remember the Time"   Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson, Bernard Belle 4:00
6. "Can't Let Her Get Away"   Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley 5:00
7. "Heal the World"   Michael Jackson 6:25
8. "Black or White" (featuring L.T.B.) Michael Jackson; rap lyrics by Bill Bottrell 4:16
9. "Who Is It"   Michael Jackson 6:34
10. "Give In to Me" (featuring Slash) Michael Jackson, Bill Bottrell 5:29
11. "Will You Be There" (Theme from Free Willy) Michael Jackson 7:39
12. "Keep the Faith"   Glen Ballard, Siedah Garrett, Michael Jackson 5:57
13. "Gone Too Soon"   Larry Grossman, Buz Kohan 3:24
14. "Dangerous"   Michael Jackson, Bill Bottrell, Teddy Riley 7:00

The 2001 Special Edition has the same track listing. It was re-packaged with the Dangerous – The Short Films DVD in a two disc set in 2008.

Special editions

Alternative editions of the albums became very rare, products almost exclusive for record collectors. The most notable editions were a 1992 edition that folded out to become a diorama, a 1993 Japan remix compilation[19][20] and a 1993 Australia two-disc edition that contained bonus remixes.[21]

An international re-release of the album (entitled Dangerous: Special Edition) took place on October 16, 2001, just two weeks before the release of Jackson's studio album Invincible. Simultaneously, Special Editions of Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad were also released. For the occasion, Dangerous was digitally remastered and included a slipcase and a brand new 24-page colorful booklet with revised artwork and previously-unseen photos. The new edition managed to reach No. 108 in the UK charts (the only one of those four re-releases that didn't enter the Top 75 there). Because of the constraints of Dangerous' running time, previously unreleased songs were not included. Originally, Dangerous: Special Edition was to be released as a double disc release, the 1st disc featuring the original 14 track album, the 2nd filled with unreleased tracks. This project was scrapped at the last moment, however many of the tracks were eventually leaked onto the internet along with various demos of other tracks that appeared on the album. In 2004, some of these leaked tracks were officially released on The Ultimate Collection (namely the "Dangerous" [Early Version] and "Monkey Business").

Dangerous – The Remix Collection (Japan)

Dangerous – The Remix Collection
Dangerous Remix - Michael Jackson - Dangerous - The Remix Collection
Cover front and back, with package labels
Remix album by Michael Jackson
Released September 1993
Genre Rock / Urban contemporary
Label Epic
Michael Jackson chronology
Dangerous – The Remix Collection
HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Black or White" (C&C House/Club Mix) Michael Jackson; rap lyrics by Bill Bottrell 7:33
2. "Remember the Time" (New Jack Main Mix) Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson, Bernard Belle 5:06
3. "Remember the Time" (a cappella) Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson, Bernard Belle 3:34
4. "In the Closet" (Reprise) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley 2:45
5. "In the Closet" (The Underground Mix) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley 5:47
6. "Who Is It" (Lakeside Dub) Michael Jackson 6:38
7. "Who Is It" (Moby's Raw Mercy Dub) Michael Jackson 8:59
8. "Jam" (Silky 7") Michael Jackson, René Moore, Bruce Swedien, Teddy Riley 4:12
9. "Jam" (Roger's Jeep Mix) Michael Jackson, René Moore, Bruce Swedien, Teddy Riley 6:03
10. "Give In to Me" (vocal version) Michael Jackson 4:42

Dangerous – Collector's Edition (Australia)

Disc 1 - Dangerous
Disc 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Who Is It" (IHS Mix) Michael Jackson 7:58
2. "Black or White" (The Clivillés & Cole House/Club Mix) Michael Jackson; rap lyrics by Bill Bottrell 7:33
3. "Jam" (Teddy's Jam) Michael Jackson, René Moore, Bruce Swedien, Teddy Riley 5:48
4. "In the Closet" (The Mission) Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley 9:20
5. "Give In to Me" (vocal version) Michael Jackson 4:43
6. "Remember the Time" (Silky Soul 12" Mix) Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson, Bernard Belle 7:05
7. "Rock with You" (Masters at Work Remix) Rod Temperton 5:29
8. "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" (Roger's Underground Remix) Michael Jackson 6:22

Grammy Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1993 Dangerous Best Engineered – Non Classical Won
"Black or White" Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male Nominated
"Jam" Best R&B Vocal Performance – Male Nominated
"Jam" Best R&B Song Nominated

Music videos

As was becoming the standard for Jackson, the album's music videos were among the most costly and innovative of their time. Several of the music videos taken from the Dangerous album had complex storylines and dance sequences, and featured cameo appearances by celebrities. The video for "Jam", directed by David Kellogg, showed Jackson and Michael Jordan playing basketball and dancing together, while "Remember the Time", directed by John Singleton, was set in an Ancient Egyptian palace, and starred Eddie Murphy, Magic Johnson and Iman. "In the Closet" featured Jackson and supermodel Naomi Campbell as lovers. The director of the video was photographer Herb Ritts, who also photographed Jackson in a series of promotional shots for the release of the Dangerous album. The video clip for "Who Is It" is notable as it was directed by David Fincher who later went on direct a number of films including Se7en, Fight Club and Zodiac. For the video "Give Into Me", Michael appears in a concert setting, featuring Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash.

"Black or White" was originally over ten minutes long, premiering simultaneously on November 14, 1991 on MTV, VH1, BET, and Fox. The video featured one of the earliest examples of computer-generated morphing. The last four minutes of the video also induced much controversy, as it depicted Jackson smashing store windows and destroying a car with a crowbar. Jackson said this destructive behaviour was intended to imply a message of anti-racism and racist graffiti was added in later versions to make the violence more understandable. The music video was also controversial because of Jackson's sexually suggestive dance, which included the crotch grab as well as zipping up his pants. MTV and the other music video networks decided to excise the last four minutes of the "Black or White" video for all subsequent airings, and Jackson issued a statement apologizing to anyone who had been offended, and explaining that he tried to interpret the animal instinct of panthers into a dance. The video featured Macaulay Culkin and an appearance during the morphing scene by young Tyra Banks and was directed by John Landis, also the director of the "Thriller" short film.


Country Certification Sales
Australia 9× Platinum 630,000[23]
Austria 4× Platinum 200,000[24]
Brazil 2× Platinum 600,000[25]
Canada 6× Platinum 600,000[26]
Finland Platinum 61,896[27]
France Diamond 1,985,500 [28]
Germany 4× Platinum 2,000,000[29]
Hungary Platinum 6,000[30]
Turkey 4× Platinum 425,000[31]
Mexico 2× Platinum + Gold[32] 600,000[33]
Netherlands 3× Platinum 300,000[34]
New Zealand 6× Platinum[35] 90,000[36]
Sweden 3× Platinum [37] 240,000+
Switzerland 5× Platinum 250,000[38]
UK 6× Platinum 1,800,000[39]
U.S. 7× Platinum 7,000,000[40]

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1991 Billboard 200 1
Norwegian Albums Chart
Australian ARIA Albums Chart
Brazilian Top 100 Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
1992 Billboard 200
Norwegian Albums Chart
Australian ARIA Albums Chart
Brazilian Top 100 Albums Chart
German Albums Chart[41]
1993 New Zealand Albums Chart
2009 Czech Albums Chart[42] 2
Polish Albums Chart[43] 6
Mexican AMPROFON Top 100 Albums[44] 6
Brazil Top 10 CD ABPD[45] 4
2010 Czech Albums Chart[42] 39

End-of-decade charts

Chart (1990–1999) Position
U.S. Billboard 200[46] 44

See also


  1. ^ "Dangerous". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r10095. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Michael Jackson's Life & Legacy: The Eccentric King Of Pop (1986-1999)". MTV. MTV. 2010-07-06. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1615214/20090702/jackson_michael.jhtml. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Grammy for Bruce Swedien & Teddy Riley". Grammy. http://www.grammy.com/GRAMMY_Awards/Winners/Results.aspx. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  4. ^ Carter, Kelley L. (2008-08-11). "New jack swing". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/arts/chi-5-things-0810aug10,0,1329158.story. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  5. ^ "Gold and Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS&artist=Michael%20Jackson&format=ALBUM&go=Search&perPage=100. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  6. ^ Sony Music (2001). "Michael Jackson Dangerous Review". Sony Music Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 4, 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20051204230345/http://www.sonybmg.com.au/cd/releaseDetails.do?catalogueNo=5044242000. Retrieved August 27, 2008. 
  7. ^ Jeans (1993). "Peligroso regreso". Michael Jackson: Un mito indescifrable (in Spanish). Revista Jeans. p. 7. "En "Black or white" Michael Jackson solicitó la participación del guitarrista de Guns N' Roses, Slash, para darle a esta canción de hard rock una línea más agresiva, además cuenta con la participación de Tim Pierce en la guitarra heavy metal; y el resultado es una mezcla de hard rock, dance y rap" 
  8. ^ Ramage, John D.; Bean, John C.; Johnson, June (2001). Writing arguments: a rhetoric with readings. Allyn and Bacon. p. 491. ISBN 0-205-31745-6. http://books.google.com/?id=nDnUQkn28lUC&q=%22black+or+white%22+%22rock+'n'+roll+dance+song%22+%22michael+jackson%22&dq=%22black+or+white%22+%22rock+'n'+roll+dance+song%22+%22michael+jackson%22. Retrieved July 14, 2009. "'Black or White', described by the record company as 'a rock 'n' roll dance song about racial harmony'" 
  9. ^ Levis, Mike: Asia Pacific: The Media at Large, page 68. Billboard magazine (May 20, 1995).
  10. ^ "Michael Jackson BBC Obituary". BBC.com. 2009-06-26. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4612963.stm. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  11. ^ "Michael Jackson sulla sedia a rotelle". AffarItaliani.it. 2008-07-11. http://www.affaritaliani.it/entertainment/micheal-jackson110708.html. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  12. ^ "Review: Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" Album". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r10095. 
  13. ^ "Robert Christgau Reviews - Dangerous (Michael Jackson Album)". Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/cg/cgv192-92.php. 
  14. ^ "Entertainment Weekly Reviews". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,316329,00.html. 
  15. ^ "Q Magazine Reviews". Q Magazine. http://www.rocksbackpages.com/article.html?ArticleID=12719. 
  16. ^ "Rolling Stone Reviews". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/michaeljackson/albums/album/158404/review/6068332/dangerous. 
  17. ^ "Review". Virgin Encyclopedia. http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/Current/A3375.htm. 
  18. ^ "Top 100 of the Definitive 200". TimePieces. http://www.timepieces.nl/Top100%27s/2007NARM.html. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  19. ^ Dangerous (Michael Jackson album) at Discogs. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  20. ^ Torreano, Bradley. "Dangerous (Dangerous Remix)". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r291561. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  21. ^ http://www.platinumart.f2s.com/MJCD/dangerousaus.html
  22. ^ "Grammy Awards 1993". Rock On The Net. http://www.rockonthenet.com/archive/1993/grammys.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  23. ^ Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA)
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Certification Results
  27. ^ IFPI
  28. ^ http://www.infodisc.fr/CDCertif_D.php?debut=50
  29. ^ "German album certifications – Michael%Jackson – Dangerous" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. http://www.musikindustrie.de/gold_platin_datenbank/?action=suche&strTitel=Dangerous&strInterpret=Michael%25Jackson&strTtArt=alben&strAwards=checked. 
  30. ^ [3]
  31. ^ [4]
  32. ^ [5]
  33. ^ [6]
  34. ^ [7]
  35. ^ New Zealand Certification
  36. ^ New Zealand Chart Facts
  37. ^ [8]
  38. ^ [9]
  39. ^ [10]
  40. ^ RIAA search
  41. ^ http://musicline.de/de/chartverfolgung_summary/title/Jackson%2CMichael/Dangerous/longplay
  42. ^ a b [11]
  43. ^ http://olis.onyx.pl/listy/index.asp?lang=pl
  44. ^ Mexican Albums Chart Week 29 - 2009
  45. ^ July 6 - July 12, 2009
  46. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. http://books.google.co.kr/books?id=9w0EAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&lr&rview=1&pg=RA1-PA4#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
Preceded by
Achtung Baby by U2
Billboard 200 number-one album
December 14, 1991 – January 10, 1992
Succeeded by
Nevermind by Nirvana
Preceded by
We Can't Dance by Genesis
UK number one album
November 30, 1991 – December 6, 1991
Succeeded by
Greatest Hits II by Queen
Preceded by
Achtung Baby by U2
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
December 8, 1991 – January 17, 1992
Succeeded by
Soul Deep by Jimmy Barnes
Preceded by
Waking Up the Neighbours by Bryan Adams
Swiss Albums Chart number-one album
December 1, 1991 – December 21, 1991
Succeeded by
Greatest Hits II by Queen

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